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BLAIR

“Team Let’s-Find-Out-What-That-Git-Daniel-Is-Up-To-And-Bring-Pierce-And-James-Together is in session!” Fred says in one breath.

“That’s a stupid name.” I state and Al, standing next to me in an old broom closet nods.

“I agree.” He says. “Maybe the first order of the meeting needs to be: Come up with a new name?”

“I’m starting to regret that I even formed this club.” Fred says annoyingly crossing his arms.

“And so do I!” I add impatiently. “I never agreed that you let Al on my secret!” I accuse Fred and he raises his hands defensively.

“He came to me!”

“I really did.” Al says. “I said I noticed how sad you seemed when James ended up in hospital and I said there has to be something more to that engagement of yours and that’s when Fred let me in on your secret.”

“I can’t believe you Fred!” I hiss at him. “I asked you to keep that all for yourself!”

“Would you keep your voice down?” Fred asks. “We’re in this broom closet because we’re hiding from people not because we want to attract attention!”

I snort in lady like fashion looking around the old closet. It was a small closet where Filch placed brooms for the first year olds to use in their flying lessons. It was situated in the Entrance Hall and since it was early in the morning and classes haven’t even started, there was no danger of someone walking in on us.

Fred grabbed me before breakfast and dragged me in here because he had something he wanted to tell me about Daniel. Of course, I didn’t expect to find Al here.

“Plus,” Fred adds. “You wouldn’t be yelling if I told you we found out something about Daniel.” He finishes smugly.

“Found out what?” I ask eagerly. “Something that can get me far away from him?”

“Not exactly.” Al says.

“Yes. We’re not there yet.” Fred nods.

“Then what is it?” I demand.

“I asked my Dad’s private detective to look into your fiancé.” Fred explains and I raise my eyebrow.

“Your Dad has a private detective?”

“Yes, for his joke shop. Anyways,” Fred continues. “He kept an eye on Daniel in the last few weeks. Your fiancé has been going a lot to Hogsmeade. He’s been visiting Hog’s Head in late hours and he’s meeting with all sorts of people.”

“All sorts of people?” I ask confused.

“Every time he’s there, there’s a different person with him. Look.” Fred says showing me a few pictures. On one of them there’s Daniel talking to a tall blonde guy with a goat tee. Then there he is talking to an old man with a grey beard and no hair left. Then there’s a guy in his forties looking like a member of a gang with his arms and neck covered in tattoos.

“It’s a bit weird, isn’t it?” Fred asks with a smirk.

“It’s weird.” I agree. “But I can’t accuse him of anything with these pictures. Maybe he just has a lot of friends and he likes to hang out with them.”

“Would a guy like Daniel really be hanging out with people like this?” Al asks pointing at a guy with tattoos. “Those are some shady people, Ashley.”

“Al’s right.” Fred agrees. “Maybe we can’t accuse him of anything right now, but when we find out what it is he’s doing with them, I’m sure you’ll get rid of him.”

“Yes, but how do we do that?” I ask.

“I’ll ask my Dad when we get home for the Spring Holidays.” Al says. “He works at the Ministry and if this guy is doing something shady, he’ll know it.”

I shake my head at his words. “My Grandfather has worked in the Ministry. He has friends there. I’m sure that if your Dad starts asking questions someone will tell my grandmother and then we’ll be in trouble.”

“Your grandfather is retired from the Ministry and my Dad is Harry Potter.” Al says simply. “Who do you think has more power there?”

“Fine.” I sigh and then hug them both. “I can’t thank you enough for doing this.”

“Don’t worry, Pierce.” Fred says with his usual grin.

“Yeah.” Al adds with a smile. “Will you be visiting James today?”

James has finally woken up. His mother was there two days ago, the morning after I visited him, and found him in bed, wide awake and with a smile on his face. He didn’t keep that smile for long when his teammates announced that he lost the game against Hufflepuff, but the most important thing is that he’s fine now.

“No, I don’t think it would be smart.” I say and they nod in agreement. “Don’t tell him about this, please.”

“Don’t worry.” Al assures me. “He needs to rest now and I think all of this can’t reach him until we get rid of Daniel.”

“I agree.” Fred adds. “Pierce, plan your wedding for now and don’t breathe a word about this. We’ll take care of everything.”

“Thank you, guys.” I say again with a smile.

Fred smiles back at me. “The meeting of the Club-Potter-Pierce-Are-Awesome-And-Daniel-Eats-Shit is over.”

“That’s still a stupid name.” Al finishes.


 


 

ASHLEY

Mum has been staying with us for the last two days and I couldn’t make up my mind if I liked her being here or if I find it completely awkward.

It was so obvious she didn’t belong here with Chinese takeout or pizza delivery for dinner. It was so hilarious watching her expression when a neighbour upstairs started yelling at his wife and soon enough his chickens joined in.

At times, Mum and Dad would awkwardly sit at the table, him drinking his beer and she, sipping her wine. And then at times they would fit together as perfect as two puzzle pieces. They would cook together, say things at the same time, finish each other sentences.

All in all, it was nice having two parents around for a change. It was nice having Mum here to talk to. Hell, it was nice being able to complain about your period out loud to another woman and having her sympathetically nod her head, instead of my Dad’s nervous cough.

I went to school in the morning figuring I had to concentrate on my N.E.W.T.s this year and then I would go to work when school would end as I’ve started to work on my newest fall/winter designs. With all the work and with all the craziness at home, I successfully avoided Nick. We shared some classes together, but I made it my mission to sit as far away from him as possible and when there was a break, I would hide out in the girl’s bathroom where I was sure he wouldn’t find me. Classy, I know. But I didn’t know what to say to him. Our situation was so complicated, it couldn’t possibly get worse. Jenna was back to school, her baby bump clearly showing and that was a constant reminder that I could never be a part of Nick’s life. But then again, that day we spent together was amazing. I couldn’t shake it out of my head. So, in all my confusion I decided to avoid Nick and Jenna and concentrate on school and work.

That is until Wednesday. It was late afternoon when I came home from work. Gerard had a hot date so he let us home early. Dad and Mum were home making dinner together, laughing loudly in the kitchen.

“I’m home!” I announce as I take my coat off.  My Mum comes laughing from the kitchen to greet me closely followed by Dad.

“Oh, honey, you’re early.” Mum says. “How was the library?”

“It was fine.” I lie. I told my parents I visited the library after school because I had to study. My Dad was a bit suspicious of that because apparently Blair doesn’t even know where the library is.

“With all the studying you’re doing, I’m sure you’ll pass those exams easily.” Dad says.

“I hope so.” I lie again.

“Anyways, dinner is almost ready.” Mum announces happily. “Your Dad and I made lasagne.”

“You made lasagne?” I ask Mum suspiciously and Dad laughs.

I made lasagne.” Dad says as he sets the table.

“I was moral support.” Mum admits with a smile. I smile at the two of them and just when I’m about to sit at the table, someone knocks on the door.

“I’ll get it!” Mum says as she approaches the door. She opens the door and there’s a pause on the other side. “Yes?” she says.

“I… I’m sorry. I must be at the wrong apartment.”

I recognise the voice and immediately get up from the table. “Nick?” I ask joining my Mum at the door.

“Nick?” Mum asks and stares at him happily. “That Nick you’ve been talking about?”

“Nick?!” Dad asks sounding confused and joins us at the door. All three of us stare at him and he looks pretty confused and embarrassed as well.

“I-“ he starts but Mum interrupts him.

“How about you come in and join us for dinner?” she asks happily and Dad looks at her in shock.

“How about no?” he asks and Mum raises her eyebrows at him.

“David.” She says warningly.

“Wanda.” Dad crosses his arms.

“Wanda?!” Nick repeats and stares at me confused.

“Yes, my Mom.” I say and Mum smiles back at him offering him her hand.

“Pleasure to meet you.” She says charmingly. “Blair has told me so much about you.”

“She has?” Nick asks as he shakes her head and I blush slightly.

“Not enough, I guess.” Dad says bitterly and Nick looks at him ashamed.

“Dad!”

“David!” Mum and I say at the same time.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have come.” Nick says shaking his head. “I just wanted to talk to Blair.”

“Nonsense.” Mum says. “Come in and join us at dinner.”

“There’s not enough for four.” Dad protests.

“David, what is wrong with you?”

“You don’t know the whole story Wanda!”

“Of course I do!”

“Do you know that he got some other girl pregnant?” Dad asks smugly and Mum opens her mouth in shock looking at me.

“What?!”

I feel a headache coming on.

“I think I’m going to leave.” Nick says looking completely and utterly embarrassed.

“No, don’t.” I beg but Dad continues.

“The same girl he got arrested with because they were stealing around Muggle houses.” He finishes and Mum looks like she’s about to have a heart attack.

“What?!” she turns to Dad in shock. “And you didn’t think about telling me?!”

“And when was I supposed to do that?” Dad asks sarcastically. “At our other daughter’s wedding?”

“Wedding?” Nick repeats again confused but everyone ignores him.

“Oh, this is so like you David!”

“Like me?”

“Okay, stop!” I yell and grab Nick’s hand. “Let’s get out of here!”

“Oh, no you won’t.” Mum threatens but I ignore her. I grab my jacket and Nick’s hand and the two of us leave the apartment behind us.

“What was that?” Nick asks when we get out of the building and into the busy street.

“That was my family.” I say rubbing my forehead. “My Mum is in town for a couple of days.”

“Does that have something to do with Blair’s wedding?” Nick asks raising his eyebrows.

“She’s getting married to my ex-boyfriend, Daniel.” I admit. “Dad freaked out when he heard.”

“I bet.” Nick says and sighs. “It looks like you have enough problems in your life without me in it.”

“Nick, I can’t have this talk.” I say as we walk around the block. “What happened a few days ago happened and I’m not sorry about it. I hope you’re not either.”

“Of course not.”  Nick stops walking and cups my face. “I love you, Ashley. This is why I’m here. I want you next to me all the time, ‘til the rest of my days.”

“If I didn’t know better, I would though this is a proposal.” I move his hands away from me. “You’re going to be a father. There’s no place for me in your life.”

“Is that right?” Nick asks. “Or is it the other way around? Maybe there’s no room for me in your life?”

“Well, no.” I admit bitterly. “There is no room for you, Jenna and your baby in my life.”

“Well, I guess there’s nothing to talk about then.” He says and I nod my head putting my hands in the pockets of my coat.

“No, there isn’t.” I say and he shakes his head.

“I thought you would at least fight for what you want.”

“I am.” I shrug. “But some battles are lost even before they begin.”

He quietly stares at me for a moment and then he places a gentle kiss on my cheek. I close my eyes and enjoy it while it lasts. “Good luck, Ash.”

“Good luck, Nick.”

 

Before I go back to my flat, I take a walk to clear my mind and to calm down. There are no tears to cry out by this point and I don’t really feel like it either. I knew that at some point I would have to tell him things were over for good between us. He is going to be a father and that child deserves to have both parents. Maybe there’s a chance Nick and Jenna will bond over the baby and after a while they’ll become a family. The child deserves that. I should know.

After walking around for an hour, I return back ready to face drama as soon as I enter. But when I enter I find Mum and Dad sitting in the living room calmly sipping their drinks. I look around the room. The dinner is untouched, there’s a pile of dishes in the sink and an awkward atmosphere in the air. And that’s when I notice Mum’s suitcase all packed up.

“What’s going on?” I ask and Mum stands up putting the glass down.

“I’m leaving, honey.” She says and Dad gets up as well.

“But, why?” I ask not understanding any of this. “Is it because of Nick? Because I told him it was all over and he won’t be bothering us anymore, I promise.”

“That’s good, I guess.” Mum says with a small smile. “But it’s not because of that, sweetie.”

“Then why?” I cry. “I just got you back. Why would you leave again?!”

“Honey, your Mom’s not living here with us.” Dad reminds me.

“That’s right, sweetie.” Mum nods. “I overstayed my welcome anyways.”

“No.” I shake my head. “You can’t leave. We haven’t even figured out what to do with the wedding.”

“That is something that your mother and I have discussed and we will take care of it, I promise.” Dad says firmly.

“But-“ I beg. “What about me? What about everything I’ve been through? Can’t you stay for me, please?”

“I’m sorry, sweetie.” Mum says and I notice tears in her eyes. She tries to hug me, but I step away from her. She looks at me with pain in her eyes and I try to keep my tears for myself.

I stare at both of them bitterly. “It feels like you’re divorcing again!” With that said, I march to my room leaving both of them hurt. Seconds later I hear a loud sound of my Mum disapparating and then the sound of my Dad closing the door of his bedroom. Everything after that is silence.


 


 

BLAIR

I eat my cereal at the Gryffindor table with the other girls, our chatter followed by the cacophony of voices of everyone else in the Great Hall. But in just a second, the mood changes and everyone stops talking as they stare towards the entrance.

“James is here.” Savannah announces completely unnecessary if you ask me since the news of his coming back to conscious have travelled the school faster than Peeves could run from a Bloody Baron.

I try not to look because, honestly, why should I torture myself, but despite of myself, I steal a glance at him. He walks through the Great Hall followed by Fred. He looks perfect as ever. You could never tell he was unconscious for a couple of days and had brain damage. His hair was a usual mess, his shirt not entirely buttoned up and the look on his face as sexy as ever.

I sigh despite myself and the girls look at me concerned.

“You okay?” Hilary asks with her eyebrows raised.

“Yes.” I act as if I’m not bothered by all of this. “I’m glad he’s okay, that’s all.”

“I’m glad as well.” Savannah nods. “I heard Madame Pomfrey suggested transferring him to St. Mungo’s if he didn’t wake up soon.”

“Oh, who cares about Potter!” Hilary protests as she takes a sip of her juice. “We have more important things to worry about! You do know what’s coming sooner than expected?”

“N.E.W.T.s?” Lydia asks.

“The Ravenclaw-Gryffindor Quidditch match?” I suggest and Hilary rolls her eyes.

“Senior ditch day!” She snaps at us and I raise my eyebrows.

“What’s that?” I ask and this time Lydia answers.

“It’s a stupid tradition which started when Teddy Lupin was at Hogwarts.” She explains. “All seven years gather and escape school for one Friday evening before the exams.”

“That’s right!” Hilary claps her hands excitedly. “And it’s not stupid.”

“That sounds great!” I say and Hilary smirks at Lydia.

“Aren’t you supposed to be a prefect?” Savannah asks and I roll my eyes.

“Please.” I say tiredly not even bothering explaining.

“We’ll discuss this later.” Lydia says grabbing her bag. “We have to get to Transfiguration right now.”

“You’re right.” Hilary agrees. “Not even I want to get on McGonagall’s nerve this close to exams.”

As I exit the Hall, I cast one more glance to James and notice he’s already staring at me.

 

Later that evening, I was finishing some of my homework in my dormitory. For the first time ever, I was completely alone. Hilary was out with some guy, Lydia was studying in the library, and Merlin knows where Savannah went.

I was finishing my Potions essay when suddenly there was a knock on the window. I look up only to find two owls carrying a large box. I roll my eyes as I get up and open the window. As suspected, it’s from my grandmother with another pile of wedding magazines. She sends me a box per day. I already have so many magazines that I can’t even put them under my bed. I started piling them up under Hilary’s bed as well. Just when I’m about to throw them under the bed, a note falls out of the pile. I pick it up expecting to see my grandmothers writing but am surprised instead.

Meet me at the Astronomy tower tomorrow after dinner.

We need to talk.

-J

“Hey, who’s that from?” Savannah enters the dormitory only to find me staring at the letter in shock.

I’m not going.

“No one.” I say quickly as I put the letter into my Potions book. “From my grandmother. She sent me another box.”

“Oh, okay.” She says sitting on her bed. “Merlin, I’m so glad the break is starting this weekend. I really need to rest from all this school stuff. Did you finish that homework Flitwick gave us? I still need at least five hundred words for the essay. ”

“No, I haven’t.” I say absentmindedly.

I’m not going.

 

I’m not going. I’m not going. I’m not!

I repeat the same sentence in my head through the day. I walk from class to class without even paying attention to anything the teachers have to say. Which is a really bad idea because the exams are approaching rapidly.

Why would he send me that message? I can’t go. I don’t even know what to say. Does he know I’ve visited him at the Hospital Wing? Is that what he wants to discuss?

I’ve seen James when we waited in line for the greenhouses in the morning. He walked past me with a significant look but I ignored it. Hopefully he’ll get the hint.

I’m not going.

“Have you heard the news?” Al asks when he joins our table for dinner.

“What are you doing here, Potter junior?” Hilary asks suspiciously.

“Is that nickname going to stick?” Al asks and Hilary smirks.

“Don’t mind her, Al.” Savannah says with a small smile. “What’s going on?”

“James and Kyra just broke up!” Al announces looking at me significantly. I just stare at my tomato soup trying to wrap my thoughts around this.

I’m not going.

“What, how?!” Savannah asks grabbing Al’s hand. She takes her gossip seriously.

“You’re hurting my hand.” Al points out and she loosens the grip looking slightly embarrassed. “Anyway,” Al coughs uncomfortably as well. “I just know that James broke up with her.”

“Why?” Hilary asks. “Did they have a fight or something?”

“No.” Al shakes his head as he pours himself some pumpkin juice. “I don’t think so. I think James just got tired of her.”

“Tired of her?” Lydia asks in shock. “That is such a rude thing to say.”

“I know how it sounds.” Al admits. “But it’s not like that. James just needs someone to challenge him, you know. Someone who constantly rains on his parade. Who’ll get him down to Earth for a change. A girl who won’t be with him because he’s a Potter, a girl who believes in though love.”

I have a feeling everyone is suddenly staring at me and my face soon becomes redder than the soup I’m eating, so I pretend to drop the fork and I hide under the table.

I’m not going.

 

“Are you going to the common room with us, Ashley?” Lydia asks after the dinner.

“No, I- I can’t.” I say.

“Why not?” Hilary asks suspiciously.

“Library.” I lie. “I need to finish that Charms essay Flitwick assigned us.”

“Oh, I gave up on that.” Hilary shrugs. “Maybe when you write it, I can copy it?”

“Sure.” I say as I head towards the library. But as soon as they’re out of my sight, I turn left and head towards the Astronomy tower.

My heart is pounding in my chest and I still try to talk myself out of this. I catch a glimpse of myself in the window on my way. Oh, Merlin, what’s this? I look around and when I realise I’m alone in the hallway, I try to fix my hair and pinch my cheeks a bit to get some colour into them. I think The Grey Lady has more colour in her cheeks than I do.

Giving up on my looks, I make my way towards the Astronomy tower. I open the door and find myself standing in a cold night. Spring was here, that was for sure, but here in north, the nights were still cold.

I find James standing at the edge looking down. At the sound of my footsteps, he turns around and looks at me surprised.

“You came!”

“I’m shocked as well.” I say and try to smile a bit.

We stay at a fair distance between us, both of us uncomfortable. Him, with his hands in his pockets and me, looking at my shoes rather than at him.

“So…” I start and manage to look at him. “Why have you sent that message?”

“I know you were there in the Hospital Wing when I was unconscious.” He says and I look back at my shoes.

“You were there, right?” he asks and I look at him again.

“I thought you knew.”

“It’s complicated.” He shrugs. “I remember parts. Like a dream. I knew you were there, but I couldn’t reach out. There was something about your Dad?”

“My Dad?” I ask suddenly remembering what I was saying when he was passed out. “No, my parents are divorced.” I say quickly. “I don’t even see my Dad.”

“I didn’t know.” He shrugs. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine.” I say. “I’m used to it.”

There’s another moment of silence.

“I heard about you and Kyra.” I say suddenly and he nods.

“Yes, everyone heard.” He says with a small smile. “She is a nice girl, you know. She’s pretty and bright and just amazing, but I dated her for the wrong reasons.”

“And what may those reasons be?” I ask.

“I wanted to make you jealous.” He says bluntly and I’m left in shock for a couple of seconds.

“What?”

“I know, I know.” He starts pacing around. “It was immature and wrong. Everyone said so. But I was hurt, Ashley. I don’t remember ever falling for a girl like I did for you and then suddenly, you come back to school engaged. I was not expecting that.”

“I wasn’t either, James.” I try to explain but he cuts me off.

“You don’t need to say anything.” He says calmly. “I just wanted to tell you that I didn’t want to finish school like this. I don’t want you to remember me like this. We don’t have to fight all the time.”

“No, we don’t.” I agree.

“I get it now.” He continues looking at me, his hands still in his pockets. “He was there first and you couldn’t throw that away for… for me, I guess. It was wrong of me to use Kyra like this, but I hope one day, I will get over you. I hope I’ll find someone like you found Daniel.”

I hope not.

“That’s actually very decent of you.” I say and try to smile a bit.

“I just feel bad, you know.” He adds shrugging. “We could’ve done this a different way.”

“What do you mean?” I ask confused.

“I have just been thinking.” He explains. “We have known each other for seven years. Why haven’t we fallen for each other sooner? Why just now? What changed this year?”

This is it. This is my chance to confess everything to him.

“James.” I start but suddenly the door opens and Professor McGonagall shows up looking as grim as ever. She looks at me and James. “Am I interrupting something?”

“It’s not past the curfew.” James protests. “We haven’t done anything wrong.”

“I’m not here because of that.” She turns towards me. “Miss Pierce, your mother is here.”

“Why?” I ask and look at the door where my mother is standing. She’s wearing black and her eyes are puffy from crying. I get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“Mum?” I ask hurrying towards her and she starts crying. “Mum, what is it?” I ask as I hug her. James and McGonagall just look at us in silence.

“He’s gone, Ashley.” Mum sobs. “My daddy’s gone.”

 

A/N: Here is another chapter! For all of you who wanted for James to wake up and to have a moment with Blair! I'm sorry I didn't post sooner, I was busy with work. 

Hopefully you like it and I hope you'll leave a review. Thank you all for so many good ideas and advices. I appreaciate all of your opinions. Love you all. :)

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